Friday, November 28, 2014

[Book Review + Giveaway] The Next Breath by Laurel Osterkamp

The Next BreathThe Next Breath
I kiss him, choosing love over honesty, which is a choice nobody should ever have to make…" 

Robin loves sweet, responsible Nick, with his penchant for Beethoven and Ben Folds Five. But she also still loves her college boyfriend Jed, an irreverent playwright plagued with cystic fibrosis. Now Robin is struggling to reveal her secrets and confront her past, as she finally performs in the play that Jed wrote for her, eleven years ago. Will Robin have the strength to keep her promise and stay true to her heart?

Alternating between present-day scenes, college flashbacks, and segments from Jed’s play, this tear-jerking yet uplifting tale illustrates how life is finite but love is infinite, and the road to recovery begins with the next breath.

 Ever since the traumatic past relationship, Robin Bricker has had some problems with her current relationship and trying to move on. Between the present, and her past, the story is an incredible journey through raw emotions and the process of moving on. This was my first book by Osterkamp and her writing has been really powerful to me. 

Even though the main character was older than me and had different life goals and character, I still felt very connected to her. The emotions that were going through her when she faced the two men were incredibly confusing and I actually had the same thoughts about my previous relationship. I loved the creativity, humor, and even the sadness that passed through the pages. 

My final thought? Get it, read it, love it. INCREDIBLE! 

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Thursday, November 27, 2014

[Book Review] The Accidental Highwayman by Ben Tripp

The Accidental Highwayman: Being the Tale of Kit Bristol, His Horse Midnight, a Mysterious Princess, and Sundry Magical Persons Besides (Adventures of Kit Bristol, #1)The Accidental Highwayman
The Accidental Highwayman is the first swashbuckling adventure for young adults by talented author and illustrator, Ben Tripp.

In eighteenth-century England, young Christopher “Kit” Bristol is the unwitting servant of notorious highwayman Whistling Jack. One dark night, Kit finds his master bleeding from a mortal wound, dons the man’s riding cloak to seek help, and changes the course of his life forever. Mistaken for Whistling Jack and on the run from redcoats, Kit is catapulted into a world of magic and wonders he thought the stuff of fairy tales.

Bound by magical law, Kit takes up his master’s quest to rescue a rebellious fairy princess from an arranged marriage to King George III of England. But his task is not an easy one, for Kit must contend with the feisty Princess Morgana, gobling attacks, and a magical map that portends his destiny: as a hanged man upon the gallows….

Fans of classic fairy-tale fantasies will find much to love in this irresistible YA debut by Ben Tripp, the son of one of America’s most beloved illustrators, Wallace Tripp (Amelia Bedelia). Following in his father’s footsteps, Ben has woven illustrations throughout the story.

“Delightful and charming. A swashbuckling adventure in the vein of Robert Louis Stevenson.” —#1 New York Times bestselling author Brandon Sanderson.

The Accidental Highwayman is a must-have for all YA collections and a great crossover for adults who still enjoy that magical taste and love the fantasy aspect of stories that leaves you so mesmerized. 

Kit and Morgana's relationship is incredibly adorable. It's a roller coaster of emotion, them constantly getting angry with the other yet trying to move forward. I felt for them and their little crushes! In addition, the little notes in the margins are great and makes the story feel realistic because I don't know phrases and words used in the 19th century and getting summaries on them helped me understand.

I enjoyed the writing and the whole excitement of the book. I did wish that some of the parts weren't so detailed because it made it feel draggy. Although I still do recommend it and hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

[Best-Book-Ever Review] Dangerous Denial by Amy Ray

Dangerous DenialDangerous Denial
Denying the past proves deadly for BK Hartshaw and Trevor Mayhew in this gripping noir novel where nothing is as it seems. 

BK is a rising star at a public relations firm, and tonight's charity ball should be a high point in her career. But a closely guarded secret threatens to destroy her chance for happiness with the only man she's ever loved... a man who is also hiding a deadly secret. 

Trevor has tried to put the past behind him, pretending it never happened. But the conniving father he's been running from for years has finally found him-and is determined to settle the score once and for all. 

BK and Trevor's deeply buried secrets are about to catch up with them-and everyone they know and love. 

Who will pay the ultimate price for their dangerous denials? 

"The sins of the parents are visited upon their children in this entertaining thriller. BK's (short for Beatrice Karen) and Trevor's lives collide when a charity ball erupts into violence. Tightly plotted suspenseful moments and a deftly-executed plot twist combine to keep readers holding onto this novel until the wee hours." - Publisher's Weekly (2008 ABNA review)

Dangerous Denial has left me on the edge of my seat the whole time and in absolute shock. There I have said it and stand 100% behind my words. 

As you start to review more books, the excitement that you felt before might be dulled out compare to when you first start reading. It's like getting used to a delicious cake that you ate way too much. But Dangerous Denial definitely recaptured my reading-taste buds. 

The story takes us to the past, to the time when Trevor or BK still haven't been born and the guy who claims to be Trevor's dad made an incredibly horrible plan to get the girl he wants only to himself. With this background on before they even existed, the author really shows us the history of these two and how messed up their situation is. 

I loved both Trevor and BK. Obviously, Lenny was mental because who else would act like that around anyone? I didn't want the story to end and the writing style itself definitely made me turn the pages without being bored or confused. 

My final thought? Hands down, one of the best suspense stories I've read in awhile. Must read!!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

[Stacking The Shelves] #26 - Love, Lucy

Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews featuring the books we got this week.

BUSY BUSY BUSY! here's a quick glance of some of the books I received over the past few weeks. sorry for short post, really hope everyone is having an amazing week! <3

yay for snail mail

What's on your list today?  Leave comments below & I'll return the favor! 

Friday, November 21, 2014

[Book Tour Review + Giveaway] The Vault of Dreamers by Caragh M. O'Brien

The Vault of DreamersThe Vault of Dreamers
From the author of the Birthmarked trilogy comes a fast-paced, psychologically thrilling novel about what happens when your dreams are not your own.

The Forge School is the most prestigious arts school in the country. The secret to its success:  every moment of the students' lives is televised as part of the insanely popular Forge Show, and the students' schedule includes twelve hours of induced sleep meant to enhance creativity. But when first year student Rosie Sinclair skips her sleeping pill, she discovers there is something off about Forge. In fact, she suspects that there are sinister things going on deep below the reaches of the cameras in the school. What's worse is, she starts to notice that the edges of her consciousness do not feel quite right. And soon, she unearths the ghastly secret that the Forge School is hiding—and what it truly means to dream there.

The Vault of Dreamers  is a Dystopia novel filled with mysteries, an intense plot and relatable characters. Setting of the novel is the future and involves Forge - a prestigious arts school where every moment of the student's lives are televised on a famous reality show. To fully understand the structure of this world, we follow 15-year old Rosie Sinclair who skips her sleeping pill one night and discovers that Forge is not what it seems... 

With high tech development and the future setting, it definitely has a lot of details that involve all the things-dystopia. What sets apart this book is the intensity with which it is written. Even though Rosie is the main character, we don't fully learn anything about her and what her life was like before entering Forge. This was one of the reasons why I couldn't connect with Rosie as much as I wanted to. 

Rosie's discoveries are horrifying, unnerving, and each time you feel as though everything is figured out and revealed, a new piece complicates the puzzle. This is definitely a page turner and with the way it ended, I definitely am excited to see where the story will take us in the next book.

My final thought? READ IT! Specially if you're a fan of Dystopia!


Caragh M. O'Brien is the author of the BIRTHMARKED trilogy and THE VAULT OF DREAMERS, both from Macmillan/Roaring Brook Press. Born in St. Paul, Minnesota, Ms. O'Brien was educated at Williams College and earned her MA from Johns Hopkins University. She recently resigned from teaching high school English in order to write young adult novels. For more information, visit

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

[Book Review] Follow Me Through Darkness by Danielle Ellison

Follow Me Through Darkness (The Boundless Trilogy, #1)Follow Me Through Darkness
The truth won't always set you free.

Less than a year ago, Neely Ambrose’s biggest worry was having the freedom to follow a path that wasn't chosen for her.

Less than a year ago, she believed she could trust the Elders who said they had everyone’s best interest at heart and who said they were keeping them safe from the outside.

Sixty days ago, she discovered what they had planned for everyone she loved—and that all of it centered around her.
Now she’s on the run through a dangerous wasteland full of killing machines, secret organizations, and people who want to sell her back to the Elders for their own safety. The whole world outside the Compound is living proof that everything in Neely’s life was a lie manufactured by the Elders, which may even include the boy she loves.

All Neely wants is the truth, but each new piece of it drives her further from what she thought she knew. With only forty days until everyone she loves falls under the Elders’ mind control, Neely must decipher who to trust, what questions to ask, and how to get one step ahead of the Elders, who will do anything to keep their secrets buried.

Follow Me Through Darkness is an interesting mix of Dystopia, Action, thriller, little bit of romance, and a whole lot of confusion. 

The story itself is very interesting. Neely is a part of a world that's build to maintain perfection so that the human race won't end like it did previously. She lived under the rule of Embers' that have been telling everyone lies about people that are still out there, behind the walls. But when she finds documents that say they have a plan for her, she fakes her death and runs away in hopes of saving everyone. 


Where do I start. The story itself was very mesmerizing but the way it was formatted is what I found to be very irritable. There is no order in which the book is written so you either have the present time in which Neely is traveling to find her answers or you have different fragments of her past. I like to see the difference in the time frames but not when they go randomly from 4 years in the past to ten days and everything in between... 

Neely is weird. She has a "twin" who she loves (yes, in that sense. & no, they're not actually related to each other) who she's obsessed with. So she basically travels all over the country to try to save him and then BAM! Ha you're just gonna have to read it to find out ;) 

My final thought? Meh, it's alright. Could have been better but if you have time to waste, check it out.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

5th Annual Gratitude Giveaways Hop

gratitude 2013

5th Annual Gratitude Giveaways Hop
November 15th to 30th

$10 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Open Internationally
Ends 11/30/14
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INTL Giveaway - One lucky winner will receive choice of $10 Amazon or Paypal Gift card! Use the Rafflecopter below to enter. Please ensure that you enter correct email address - winner will be contacted via that info. If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, another winner will be chosen. Good luck beautifuls!

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Friday, November 7, 2014

The Art of Eating through the Zombie Apocalypse‏

The Art of Eating through the Zombie Apocalypse: A Cookbook and Culinary Survival GuideThe Art of Eating through the Zombie Apocalypse
Just because the undead’s taste buds are atrophying doesn’t mean yours have to!

You duck into the safest-looking abandoned house you can find and hold your breath as you listen for the approaching zombie horde you’ve been running from all day. You hear a gurgling sound. Is it the undead? No—it’s your stomach.

When the zombie apocalypse tears down life and society as we know it, it will mean no more take out, no more brightly lit, immaculately organized aisles of food just waiting to be plucked effortlessly off the shelves. No more trips down to the local farmers’ market. No more microwaved meals in front of the TV or intimate dinner parties. No, when the undead rise, eating will be hard, and doing it successfully will become an art.

The Art of Eating through the Zombie Apocalypse is a cookbook and culinary field guide for the busy zpoc survivor. With more than 80 recipes (from Overnight of the Living Dead French Toast and It’s Not Easy Growing Greens Salad to Down & Out SauerkrautHoney & Blackberry Mead, and Twinkie Trifle), scads of gastronomic survival tips, and dozens of diagrams and illustrations that help you scavenge, forage, and improvise your way to an artful post-apocalypse meal. The Art of Eating is the ideal handbook for efficient food sourcing and inventive meal preparation in the event of an undead uprising.

Whether you decide to hole up in your own home or bug out into the wilderness, whether you prefer to scavenge the dregs of society or try your hand at apocalyptic agriculture, and regardless of your level of skill or preparation, The Art of Eating will help you navigate the wasteland and make the most of what you eat.

The Art of Eating through the Zombie Apocalypse is one of a kind. There, I said it. The author uses the idea of ZPoc to teach us about surviving in the wild and try not to die from hunger since we all watched enough movies to know how to dodge the zombies!

What I really liked is that author starts off with several options of how to put together a fire. Of course, we won't always have an oven available so making "Earth oven" or "Mud oven" is very informational. There are also parts where the author helps you with which seeds sprout better than the others, which beans are the best to cook, and even how to find and eat seaweed. 

Recipes themselves are 50/50. One of the interesting ones are the Overnight French Toast which I will probably make. Want to know something completely awesome? Here's the picture of how it's supposed to look:

Does this look completely AWESOME?? I'm so making it & definitely gonna post an update on how I do hehe Other recipes probably will never happen. Why? Because I will most likely will never have access to 2012-issue MRE (military Meal, Ready to Eat) Menu #10 to create Hamburger-type chili. Overall, this is useful for any occasion if some sort of disaster strikes but one thing I definitely know - get some military food, yo! So hey, come at me zombies because I got this covered ;)

[Trailer & Giveaway] My Name is Bryan by Stacy Lynn Carroll

My Name is BryanMy Name is Bryan
If your friends jumped off a cliff, would you jump too? Bryan chose to dive. Moments later, as he lay on the beach, unable to move his arms or legs, two questions ran through his mind: Would he walk again? And would he ever have kids? Based on the incredible true story of life, love, and never giving up.
Praise for the book:
“I plowed through his story, amazed at how he could so easily accept something that would destroy anyone else and just move forward with such a positive attitude. I don’t give many 5 stars, but it’s well-earned. This book really touched me. It’s the kind of story that stays with you for a long time.”
–Amazon customer
“I actually love stories like this. Ones that show the power of the human spirit and what love and determination can achieve. I cried multiple times while reading this but they were a happy sort of hopeful tears. If you are looking for something uplifting and motivational read this heart-felt story of love and hope.”
–Inspired Kathy ;)
“You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll wring your hands in frustration, and you won’t be able to put it down to go to sleep as you keep waiting to read about Bryan’s happily ever after. This is one of those books that stick with you long after you’ve finished reading it.”
“Each chapter begins with an inspirational quote to lead the reader into the goodness, hardship, unconditional love, and humor that is Bryan’s life. The 30 year journey the reader takes runs smoothly page after page. You will cry and you will laugh. You will want to hug Nedra and Bryan when you are finished.”
–Kriss A.
 My Name is Bryan (1)Follow the Blog Tour hosted by I Am A Reader
October 29th to November 14th
Book Trailer:

Stacy Lynn CarrollAuthor Stacy Lynn Carroll
Stacy Lynn Carroll has always loved telling stories. She started out at Utah State University where she pursued a degree in English. Go Aggies! She then finished her BA at the University of Utah (to be closer to her then boyfriend, now hubby) where she got an emphasis in creative writing. After college she worked as an administrative assistant, where she continued to write stories for the amusement of her co-workers. When her first daughter was born, and with the encouragement of a fortune cookie, she quit her job and became a full-time mommy and writer. It seemed like fate when Matt and Stacy married. She was a writer, and her father-in-law had a story that demanded to be written. She and her husband have three children, two Corgis, and a fish named Don.
Blog Tour Giveaway
$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 11/21/14
Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
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